A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD from Bridgwater who suffers from a genetic condition will be helping to declare a shop near Wellington, that’s dedicated to all things Christmassy, open this month (November, 2018).

Tayen Gilbert, who suffers from Neurofibromatosis, will be cutting the official ribbon at Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm in Langford Budville and launching its Christmas shop on Saturday, November 17 at 10am.

Kali Gilbert, Tayen’s mum, explained: “We’re thrilled that Tayen has been selected to officially open Langford Lake’s Christmas shop and Christmas tree farm. She’s very excited. As a family we love Christmas and this will be a treat for all of us.

“I decided to nominate Tayen as she’s a little star. Tayen has a complex medical history and her genetic condition causes tumours to grow along nerves anywhere in the body. She was diagnosed at 22-months-old with bilateral optic pathway gliomas (tumours) that have spread through her brain to the back. She started chemotherapy straight away but unfortunately lost all vision just six weeks into treatment.

“Following this Tayen needed bilateral shunts to drain fluid on her brain. She also has complex epilepsy and is currently now on her third round of chemotherapy treatment. None of this stops her though. Tayen is a powerhouse of fun and energy and captures the hearts of everyone she meets.”

The Gilbert family has fundraised for various charities over the years. They also visit Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) at Charlton Farm, which is Langford Lakes’ Charity of the Year.

Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm is hoping to collect as much money as possible for CHSW from the sale of mince pies and teas and coffees, aided by volunteers for the charity. The refreshments will be on offer from its launch event through to its last day of trading before Christmas on December 23. Last year it managed to raise £2,955 for the organisation.

Kali added: “CHSW has been a great lifeline of support and respite for my whole family. It is a fantastic charity and we’re delighted to hear that Langford Lakes will be fundraising for it again this year.”

CHSW is currently the only provider of specialist hospice care for children in the region. It offers much needed support for youngsters with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and their families at its three hospices: Charlton Farm in North Somerset, Little Bridge House in North Devon and Little Harbour in Cornwall.

Reg Hendy from Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm, which is based at Middle Hill Farm, said: “We’re so pleased that Tayen will be helping us open our Christmas tree farm and shop for the festive season.

“She will be our VIP for the day and will also receive one of our British grown Christmas trees. We hope Tayen and her family have a fantastic morning with us kicking off the countdown to Christmas.

“We would also like to invite everyone to this special festive season launch event on Saturday, November 17. The fun starts at 10am with an official ribbon-cutting. Bring the family and enjoy the refreshments, while also helping us raise invaluable funds for CHSW.”

Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm, which is well-known for its home grown, freshly cut Christmas trees, is a family run 40-acre farm that is located close to the nature reserve Langford Heathfield, a mile outside of Langford Budville in Somerset.

It is a family-run farm, owned and run by Reg and his wife Ann and their two sons, Shaun and Nick. The family has been growing and selling Christmas trees for more than 20 years.

Reg added: “We offer a large selection of Christmas decorations to suit a range of festive themes from decorations that sparkle to Nordic and retro items. We also stock fresh, handmade Christmas wreaths. Come along this month to get some new decorations for your home and see our displays and pick up your fresh tree.”

Tayen will be cutting the ribbon at Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm and launching its Christmas shop on Saturday, November 17 at 10am.

Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm is open every day from Saturday, November 17 until Saturday, December 23, 2018.

For further details about Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm, which is based at Middle Hill Farm in Langford Budville near Wellington, please call 01823 400476, visit Langford Lakes, follow the company on Twitter or log on to Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm, Facebook.

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